A scorching French thriller is a "Sleeper Smash Hit"

“It’s by proxy,” Goldstein said, trying to explain why a 50-year-old French film starring actors who were largely unknown in America was ...


“It’s by proxy,” Goldstein said, trying to explain why a 50-year-old French film starring actors who were largely unknown in America was such a success. “It’s a vacation in the south of France that a lot of people can’t take. There is also the incredible magnetism and chemistry of the two stars, who were true lovers. “

The film is categorized as a psychological thriller, but for first-time viewers there is very little going on until the very end. “Can you believe it’s still an hour ago?” I hover over an older woman marveling at her friend near the halfway point.

A bigger splash, “ The wonderful 2015 remake with Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton, which Americans may be more familiar with, keeps the plot line out, but, as the title suggests, it’s a lot more splashy. In this version, drowning is an accidental crime of passion, far from the cold and calculating murder of “La Piscine”; the dialogue is faster, the cuts sharper, the music louder.

Watching it now, after diving deep (um) into the original, made me realize that it was the very lack of action, the shameless decadence, that kept bringing me back to the theater. It is not a film which is interested in passing judgment on the good life.

Even as I became more sensitive to the subtleties of the film’s dialogues (“the first swim really hurts you”, says Marianne, when Penelope comes back from the beach after losing her virginity with Jean-Paul), I remained more interested in just watching beautiful people do very little. “Tomorrow I’ll take a long nap,” says Marianne, lying on a sofa in a swimsuit after a day by the pool. Yes please.

That a film so entrenched in the free to resonate in 2021 is perhaps not entirely surprising. After a year in which New York City suffered tremendous losses and its residents lived very limited lives, it is understandable that we are looking to take off our clothes and Have fun, on-screen and off.

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Newsrust - US Top News: A scorching French thriller is a "Sleeper Smash Hit"
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